As­sert­ing them­selves

100 vil­lages in Hi­machal de­mand their rights over com­mu­nity forests un­der the For­est Rights Act

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MORE THAN 100 vil­lages in Hi­machal Pradesh have for the first time as­serted their rights over com­mu­nity forests un­der the For­est Rights Act (FRA) of 2006. The for­est rights com­mit­tees of the vil­lages have sub­mit­ted their claims to the sub-di­vi­sion (block) level com­mit­tees. The move fol­lowed the Hi­machal Pradesh High Court or­der in April ask­ing the gov­ern­ment to re­move any kind of en­croach­ment in the forests of the state. "Now that these claims have been made, we would urge the state gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment FRA in the state be­fore it starts evict­ing peo­ple," says Gu­man Singh, con­venor of Him Niti Ab­hiyan, a coali­tion of var­i­ous non-prof­its that is work­ing to pro­mote FRA in the state.

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